What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is one of the most commonly cited birth defects associated with acts of medical malpractice. Any error on the part of a doctor or another type of healthcare provider, such as a nurse or a hospital’s administration staff, can be considered an act of medical malpractice if another professional in the same position would not reasonably have taken the same action, and the unreasonable action resulted in a victim’s injury, worsened condition, or premature death.

Cerebral palsy is a movement disorder caused by injury to the developing brain. People who live with cerebral palsy can exhibit exaggerated reflexes, uncontrolled motions, stiff and weak muscles, and poor coordination.

Injuries Sustained Before and During Birth

The majority of cerebral palsy cases are caused by injuries sustained before birth. These include:

  • Brain hemorrhaging due to a blow to the developing fetus; and
  • Maternal infection transmitted to the fetus.

Babies born early have an increased risk of suffering from cerebral palsy. Multiple births and babies conceived with assisted reproductive technology are more likely to be born prematurely than single and naturally conceived babies, which makes newborns in these groups more susceptible to cerebral palsy.

An infant can suffer an injury during the birth process, too, and this injury can cause him or her to develop cerebral palsy. Often, these injuries are related to a lack of oxygen, which can happen when there are problems with the umbilical cord. They can also result from rough handling and misuse of medical devices like forceps.

Injuries Sustained After Birth

An infant can develop cerebral palsy due to an injury sustained after birth, too. Similar to a head or neck injury that disrupts blood flow to the brain during birth, rough handling in the moments after birth can cause a child to develop this condition. Other ways a child can develop cerebral palsy after birth include infections like meningitis.

Pursuing Compensation for Your Damages Related to Your Child’s Injury

If your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you feel the disorder is related to an injury he or she suffered before, during, or shortly after birth due to a medical provider’s negligence, you must demonstrate this point with sufficient evidence to support your medical malpractice claim. Evidence to support this type of claim can include testimony from the doctor that diagnosed your child, documentation of fetal or maternal distress before birth that was not addressed appropriately, and copies of your medical bills for your child’s treatment.

Work with an Experienced Fox River Grove Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If your child was injured in an act of medical negligence and he or she is now suffering from cerebral palsy, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation for the damages you suffered and those your child will continue to suffer because of the disability. To learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim and to get started on yours, contact our team of medical malpractice lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Carlo Navarro)

  • Newland & Newland LLP, Attorneys, Arlington Heights, IL
  • Lawyer.com